A LACKLUSTRE second-half display sent Tadcaster Albion to a shock 3-2 defeat at Evo-Stik League division one north strugglers Radcliffe Borough.

Matt Morton’s men failed to capitalise on an early lead and conceded three unanswered goals in the space of 15 second-half minutes at the Neuven Stadium.

The Brewers begun in almost total control as Aiden Savory stung the keeper’s palms with a shot on the turn after Aaron Hardy’s delivery.

Savory then went one better within minutes to give the away side a deserved lead.

Danny Frost was quick to take advantage of a slip from defender Stavros Tserpes and, bounding into the box, the winger squared to Savory to slot a left-footed shot into the far corner.

The enforced withdrawal of experienced midfielder Peter Davidson stymied Tad’s rhythm, however, and the hosts came back into the contest with near-post chances for Tom Owens and Carl Peers.

Charles Murphy, deputising in goal for former York City stopper Michael Ingham, pulled out a cracking save later in the half to deny Ryan Leonard’s curler that was bound for the top corner.

After the interval, the lively Frost found a pocket of space and forced a fine low save from 25 yards, but this was a rare moment of creativity for Albion in the second half.

The momentum of the game shifted entirely when Peers was bundled over in the box and the referee gave a penalty, which Owens fired past Murphy with ease.

Radcliffe continued to apply pressure and were rewarded for their patience as Owens stole in to head home from close range in the 74th minute.

Less than two minutes later, a hacked defensive clearance cut through the middle of the Brewers backline, and a collective abdication of responsibility gave Brendan Glackin time to bring Murphy off his line and slot home.

Former Scarborough Athletic man Cameron Murray was brought on from the bench and came mightily close to a leveller when he side-footed just past the upright from a Frost pass.

The visitors kept pushing and got one back in injury-time when emergency striker Andy Milne tapped home a rebound from Savory’s header that struck the crossbar.

A frustrating afternoon was summed up though when home keeper Ryan Jones acrobatically cleared – rather than saved – a Milne effort off his line in the dying seconds.

“It annoyed me inside that the lads started to play only when we were 2-1 and 3-1 down,” Morton said.

“The momentum should have stayed with us second half but we switched off and got punished for it. We’re really disappointed.”